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McCain - Energy Policy?  
User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 1121 times:

I thought it would be useful to have a thread with some factual data about energy and oil in the US specifically in relation to McCain's proposals.

BACKGROUND
The thread in Aviation has some hard data
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...eneral_aviation/read.main/4129732/

From that it is worth following the link about the T Boone Pickens proposals
(Planemaker Reply 65)
http://www.pickensplan.com/theplan/

MCCAIN'S PROPOSALS

The best analysis I can find is at
http://www.theoildrum.com/node/4216
McCain’s Energy Plan: Correct Diagnosis, Killer Prescription

I am sure there are others and I welcome being directed to better analyses.

The first thing to note is that his description of the current situation is largely correct. While he probably overemphasizes the role of speculation in recent price rises, he does point out that this is correct only as far as it represents a fundamental shift between growing demand from places like China and India and supply .... He also rightly points out that US dependency on imported oil has been growing, and that the amounts of money paid out to often hostile oil-exporting countries are reaching record levels. He also .. reminds us that the policies of the past 40 years have done little to change this trend.

And his first policy recommendation is most appropriate: “energy conservation is no longer just a moral luxury or a personal virtue. Conservation serves a critical national goal.” ......... Putting conservation and energy efficiency, i.e., action towards demand reduction, at the forefront of his policy proposals is a good thing and would be a real change ...

In his Santa Barbara speech, he also emphasizes energy efficiency, and he fleshes out some sensible proposals in that respect, including direct action to make government offices and vehicle fleets energy stingy. .......

Further, McCain acknowledges systematic climate change, and the widely-supported theory that fossil fuels play a significant role in fostering it. He specifically argues that energy policy must include measures to curb carbon emissions, via cap-and-trade mechanisms. .........

But when one moves to his recommendations, the gap is suddenly yawning with this diagnosis. His concrete proposals include more drilling in the USA, more nuclear energy, and, in an apparent nod to standard Republican economic fare, less regulation (for refineries) and lower taxes (on gas). “Apparent” because the targets seem wrongheaded: if no refinery has been built in the US over the past 31 years, as McCain asserts, that does not mean that “refining capacity” and runs has [have] not increased in the past 15 years via investments on existing sites, and it does not mean that there are any refining shortages.

In fact, refining margins are significantly lower than last year, making the increase in gas prices much less than the increase in oil price would have warranted. And lowering gas taxes can only bring results in direct contradiction to his stated goals. By reducing prices at the pump, it will increase demand (or stop demand reduction efforts); more likely, it will lead to higher margins for oil companies — which probably don’t need the help. Either way, it will not help moving away from the addiction to oil, as diagnosed by President Bush in his 2006 State of the Union address.

With his proposals to open currently closed off areas of the USA for oil production, John McCain seems to think that the problem is addiction to foreign oil rather than to oil per se. But a country that controls 3% of world oil reserves while consuming 24% of world demand cannot seriously expect to be self-sufficient for very long. Indeed, the 21 billion barrels of inaccessible reserves that McCain wants to open to production represent barely 3 years of total US consumption. Even if they were brought to the market rapidly, their impact would be temporary. In fact, the Energy Information Agency, in a report published in 2007, concluded that "access to the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030" and that "any impact on average wellhead prices is expected to be insignificant." Authorising drilling in currently closed areas will not bring more oil to the market, and will not bring prices down. Pushing it as energy policy perpetuates the hope that it is somehow possible to come back to worry-free times of cheap and plentiful oil. But this is by no means a distinguishing feature of John McCain: this is the real "third rail" of US politics, and no politician has dared touch it so far.

Similarly, his policies with respect to coal and nuclear are focused on the supply side rather than the demand side; ...........
However, it is certainly possible to move towards a significant share of electricity generation coming from nuclear: after all, it took France less than 15 years to go from no nukes to 80% of its consumption coming from 58 nuclear plants - all using an identical US design provided by Westinghouse. On the coal front, US reserves are also sufficient to ensure plentiful power generation for some decades; however such a policy would go against McCain's professed goal to reduce carbon emissions, as carbon capture and storage is still a theory rather than an industrial reality and is likely to remain that way for many years. Moreover, nukes and coal are not - yet - substitutes for the main use of oil: transportation. Until plug-in hybrids or other electric vehicles become dominant, or people move massively to light rail, electricity will not be a meaningful substitute for oil. And coal to liquids technology is unlikely to ever be scaled to the current needs of US motorists, given the need for vast volumes of water in the process.

So, despite his claims to provide a break from the past, McCain's proposals are stuck in the very same mindset he criticizes - the one that drove Hillary Clinton to push for lower gas taxes, Bush to call for renewed offshore drilling, or Obama to support coal production in the Appalachians: the fundamentally American notion that there is no limit to what one can do, and that solutions will be found by going for more, or bigger, rather than doing less or smaller. But as the global scarcity of oil, that incredible, irreplaceable gift of nature, wich packs energy in a dense, easily transportable form, becomes more obvious, and as we need to increasingly fight with the Chinese and others for it, a revolution in our minds will be necessary to no longer take it for granted. It is a pity that McCain, whose description of today's crisis is spot on, cannot take that jump yet beyond that minimalist $300 million reward for better batteries.


I have cut down the text but it is fairly densely written. And there are so many points that are valuable, such as water availability for coal to liquids (CTL).

COMMENT

Specifcally on drilling, there is an absence of a consideration by McCain of what might be found, what might be produced and the size of the gap.

The USGS considers that resources on the N Slope might be (MIGHT BE) up to 5.9 billion barrels. If that was produced over 20 years - effectively a medium term asset at best - this would average about 800,000 barrels per day. US production is declining as shown in this graph.

Big version: Width: 840 Height: 511 File size: 57kb
US Oil Production 1965-2007


Adding 800,000 bpd to that is going to be just a minor blip.

As the oil drum article infers (and T Boone Pickens says), conservation and other measures are going to have to be of much greater significance than attempts to "patch" the US oil production.

None of which is to say that oil and gas production in and by the US will not be profitable, it will be highly profitable, just it will not fix the energy problems.

It is a huge subject, so of course this intro is incomplete. Any thoughts?

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSv7887 From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1025 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1087 times:

Hi All,
We need embrace everything keep in mind there is no silver bullet in place...yet. We are bound to make mistakes and find out that certain alternatives don't pan out..Yet that shouldn't discourage us from embarking on a Manhattan type project to find alternatives.

At the same time there is going to be a transition period, and it may take decades so securing oil is also important, but not more important than conservation. In fact I think we should save a ton of electricity if we, the people, took small but significant steps to reduce energy.

My local electric company told me that even putting up the thermostat to 76 degrees (F) on the A/C can save a ton of energy.

I rarely turn on the A/C, I use large fans instead, but I tried this suggestion and you wouldn't believe the difference on my next electric bill.

Also, in the Boston area, we use heating oil to keep our homes warm in the winter. I had no idea how efficient new oil burners are these days. We had a clunky 1960's era boiler that was 67% efficient. You can imagine how expensive our fuel oil bills were.

We installed a German built (Buderus?) boiler that is 87% efficient with an indirect heated water tank. The thing barely comes on now. Our oil bills have fallen by at least 20%.

I don't know if this is just a US thing, but I see numerous stores that keep their lights on at night. The malls are practically lit up like a Christmas tree, same with some private businesses.

I do realize security cameras probably need this light, but how much oil would we save by turning those lights down?

GM had an electric car out quite a few years ago, the EV-1..Nobody bought it and they lost a fortune on the deal.

In a free market economy like the US, the public drives the demand. If the public wants conservation, they will get it!


User currently offlineBHMBAGLOCK From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 2698 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1079 times:



Quoting Sv7887 (Reply 1):
I do realize security cameras probably need this light, but how much oil would we save by turning those lights down?

Most high quality cameras have an option for dual cameras, often the second camera element will be low light to reduce or eliminate the need for lighting. Some cameras also have the ability to automatically trigger a floodlight when motion is detected to increase the picture quality when things are interesting.



Where are all of my respected members going?
User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 3, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1071 times:



Quoting Sv7887 (Reply 1):
If the public wants conservation, they will get it!

It was good to see the emphasis on conservation. As the review suggests, that seems to be the best argued part of the policy. And ironically, it is probably both the cheapest and most effective part of ANY policy that can be devised.

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 2):
Most high quality cameras have an option for dual cameras, often the second camera element will be low light to reduce or eliminate the need for lighting. Some cameras also have the ability to automatically trigger a floodlight when motion is detected to increase the picture quality when things are interesting.

That is interesting. I had never thought about it. Although, I do wonder how many tonnes of my beloved coal are burning every night to keep tower blocks suitably illuminated so that even the blind mice know where they are going!

As an aside, one of the most irritating things to me is that hour of darkness (Earth Hour) that started off - I think - in Sydney. This year it spread. So they all put the lights off for one hour AND THEN PUT THEM ALL BACK ON AGAIN!!

I have to admit I have a light on in the next room, but at least all the lights in the house are fluorescent lights. And roll on LEDs.

And later this year, I will spend a couple of weeks in a country where the normal max wattage for a residence is 900 watts. 910 w and phut, the fuse clicks off. If you want more watts, you pay a higher tariff.

So why do we still waste energy in the most obvious of ways, and what will it take to stop that?

From a distance, it seems to me that T Boone Pickens offers more progress, or am I missing something about the McCain plans?

What neither address is how to persuade the oil companies that it is a good idea for oil based products to be substituted with other fuels such as CNG. Shortage would do it, but an energy plan can hardly be based on needing a shortage for it to work. The point should be to avoid shortages as a first step????


User currently offlineHapppyLandings From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1062 times:



Quoting Sv7887 (Reply 1):
GM had an electric car out quite a few years ago, the EV-1..Nobody bought it and they lost a fortune on the deal.

People were lining up to buy it, but GM would not sell it. They only leased a small amount to celebrities and would not let the celebs keep it. GM even threatened to sue some that did not want to give it back. After they gave all of them back GM destroyed all but a few examples, even though there were mass (Well, very large) protests against it. Many wanted to buy the car after the leases were over but GM supposedly struck some deals with the oil companies to discontinue any and all alternative fuel research.


There is a good documentry about the EV-1 if anyone is interested.

http://www.moviesfoundonline.com/who_killed_the_electric_car.php


User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3334 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1053 times:



Quoting HapppyLandings (Reply 4):
GM supposedly struck some deals with the oil companies to discontinue any and all alternative fuel research.

If there is any truth for this besides Who Killed the Electric Car, then GM for signing anything with the oil companies then you deserve your fate.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineWunalaYann From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 2839 posts, RR: 26
Reply 6, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 1032 times:



Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 5):

Without straying into too sensitive areas of conspiracy/vested interests, and even without advocating the roll-out of completely new technologies such as fuel cells or solar power, I think it is fair to say that a lot could be done to enhance the energy efficiency of our motoring.

Australia is quite similar to North America in its fascination for large cars, although not to the same scale, thankfully. I am always amazed to see that our Commodores and our Falcons continue to remain in the Top 5 of the highest selling cars in Australia. Coming from Europe, I cannot quite understand why a standard issue, urban family in any large Australian city would need a 490-cm, 1.7-tonne, 4-litre, 200-kW car as a transport tool.

For a completely extreme example on the opposite side, our family car (two parents, two kids) was a 40-kW, three-door 1980 VW Polo for the first 10 years of my life. I don't wish anyone to have to endure a 6-hour trip in that sardine can packed to the roof but somehow we survived it.

I look at a Ford Focus, Holden Astra, Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic and I see plenty of abilities and room there. I stand 1m82 and weigh 85 kg and yet have no problem sitting comfortably in the back seat of a Mazda 3 next to my dad who is pretty much the same size. And our luggage fits perfectly in the boot, knowing that any need for extra capacity can be covered with roof racks and box.

Do I need to point to the benefits in terms of fuel consumption and road space enabled by a switch from 490cm to 430cm, and 1.7 tonne to 1.2 tonne?

 Smile


User currently offlineBeaucaire From Syria, joined Sep 2003, 5252 posts, RR: 25
Reply 7, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 1029 times:

Satellite imaging and thermal imaging from space provide a quite clear answer where we waste gigawatts of fossil produce to light and heat the skies....
Most modern technologies to insolate private homes and public buildings are available but not implemented due to lack of incentives ( I give you an example- in some countries the government pays a given amount of money to private home-owners if they invest in better insolation - the sticky point is,they get the money back,since once you get a state-subsidy,they increase your housing tax !!!! )
Excessive lightning of malls ,streets and highways is a tremendous waste and can easlily be reduced-as can the heating-temperatures in most public buildings or excessive airconditionning in most US restaurants and malls -it strikes me how cold it is in Summer in most places throughout the US-that excessive use of AC takes the power of some nuclear power-plants !...
Not too much research has gone into better use of geo-thermal energy !
One sticks to old and pre-conceived ideas it's inconceivable in most places,without ever finding new ways to overcome the most common restrictions ( corrosion,too deep,too expensive..)
The use of Windpower is in it's infancy only !
Germany produces more windpower energy than any other country worldwide - that's ridicoulous !!!! - (Denmark is leading with nearly 20% in terms of production/head , the USA with about 0.6% ...) technology exists to produce at least 15% of all US electricity by means of Wind and hydro-sea power - we have not even scratched the surface in terms of possibilities..



Please respect animals - don't eat them...
User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 8, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 1019 times:



Quoting Beaucaire (Reply 7):
Not too much research has gone into better use of geo-thermal energy !

There has been a fair bit of research and there are large industries in NZ, Iceland and Indonesia for a start. Some in the US too. Pilot stage hot dry rocks from Aus quite soon. What were you thinking of. One basic bit of information is already in place from the oil industry - geothermal gradient maps exist of virtually all sedimentary basins, so we know where hot rocks are at shallower depths. There are some problems with accuracy and all the pre-~1980 US maps are variable in quality because many drillers just wrote in the average and did not bother to measure!!

Data quality is one problem that arises from US mineral property rights.

Quoting Beaucaire (Reply 7):
Germany produces more windpower energy than any other country worldwide - that's ridiculous !!!!

True but given 10 years, I think the US will have a great deal more.


User currently offlineBeaucaire From Syria, joined Sep 2003, 5252 posts, RR: 25
Reply 9, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 1013 times:



Quoting Baroque (Reply 8):
True but given 10 years, I think the US will have a great deal more

The German company RePower has started to install the first of 50 5Mwatt wind-generators (162 meters of rotor diameter !!) off-shore and will expand wind-parks throughout the North-sea,generating most likely something like 2 Gigawatts -which is not so bad for one project.
But if one combines wind,geo-thermal,sea-hydro-turbines,algae-reactors,piézo-electric,bio-gas and solar-heating systems,one can easlily obtain a 50% coverage of energy production in 50-60% of all countries.
Typhone or thunderstorm-resistant systems should be developped,and installed in those areas hit frequently by heavy thunderstorms.Storage of peak-electric produce can be managed by combining wind-generators to electrolysis infrastructures,splitting water into Hydrogen and Oxygen( first pilot-units being installed ),or use electric power to compress air in large underearth caves to use compressed air to propulse generators.
But I agree with you that the USA should take over Germany within one to two years,since the sheer number and scale of new wind-projects should increase US production above the current 17 GW ( Germany actually 24 Gw )



Please respect animals - don't eat them...
User currently offlineBeaucaire From Syria, joined Sep 2003, 5252 posts, RR: 25
Reply 10, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 1004 times:

Baroque-I forgot to mention that the produce of Biogas is rising overproportionally in Germany,Austria,Switzerland and Scandinavia .
It actually represents in some "Länder" in Germany like Bavaria already more than 3.5% of all energy consumed- up from less than 1% only two years ago.The technology to convert waste,disposable organic waste and sewage into filtered gas has improved considerably.It actually could represent above 10% of all energy produce by 2012 in some areas of Germany and Austria -a tremendous figure !



Please respect animals - don't eat them...
User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 11, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 1001 times:



Quoting Beaucaire (Reply 10):
produce of Biogas is rising overproportionally in Germany,Austria,Switzerland and Scandinavia .

You might want to think carefully about the phrase "rising overproportionally" in relation to biogas.  Wink

There are many ways to try and skin this cat. I notice a great absence of PR these days from the nuclear industry and yet as I understand it, they too have not been quietly snoozing under a cooling tower for the past 20 years.

What is going to be fascinating is how all the various bit of alternatives are going to be put together economically. In some ways this may be more of a challenge than the work on the actual technologies.

For example, some coal bed methane (CBM) and what is called "tight gas" is probably cheaper to produce in the US than many forms of biogas. But in the long run, it would be more sensible to maximise biogas because otherwise it is a wasted resource rather than hoe into CBM and tight gas to a greater extent than necessary.

Getting financial settings to achieve this (and many other generically similar) aims is going to be a real challenge.

And the worst elephant nearly in the room, is a short period of cheaper oil - there I said it!!


User currently offlineBeaucaire From Syria, joined Sep 2003, 5252 posts, RR: 25
Reply 12, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 992 times:

Baroque- CBM is- honestly - a finite resource of producing energy,using energy to heat and extract gas,while bio-gas is renewable and basically auto-produced once the reactor is installed...
To me the best way to produce energy-other than wind-generators ,but who can become a visible pollution in many sites- would clearly be the use of sea-currents and ocean-stream energy ,used to drive underwater hydraulic generators.
They don't pollute the vision and landscape,use basically permanent move of ocean-water and hence can be used in a regular ,non-interrupted process.The media water can drive rotors with more energy than the media air,hence reducing the diameter of rotors.
Interesting web-site :

http://www.marineturbines.com/

This technology could be used in many coastal areas of the United States,provided the difference in tides is bigger than 2 meters.The university of Kassel (germany ) has installed a pilot-system off the UK coast,and produces electricity at very competetive rates (currently without large scale implementation about 0.05 €/KWH )

Canada for instance has some very specific areas with huge tidal denivellation-the country could win at least 5% of all electric energy from tidal or sea-flow electric generators . This scenario is most likely true for parts of Alaska ,Washington and New England.
http://www.marineturbines.com/18/projects/22/canada/

"..

[Edited 2008-09-08 05:07:00At mid-tide, the flow in Minas Channel north of Blomidon equals the combined flow of all the rivers and streams on Earth...!!!!)
The energy potential using those tidal powers are strictly illimited..

[Edited 2008-09-08 05:09:54]


Please respect animals - don't eat them...
User currently offlineMham001 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3389 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 983 times:



Quoting HapppyLandings (Reply 4):
Many wanted to buy the car after the leases were over but GM supposedly struck some deals with the oil companies to discontinue any and all alternative fuel research.

Absolute malarky and nothing more than an internet myth. True they bought them all back but the reasons they didnt continue selling them was because they couldn't make money. The reason they took them all back is because it costs a lot of money to support a few cars for a lifetime. It was nothing more than a minor niche vehicle and was a huge loss financially.

Even Toyota, today, is selling each Prius at a loss.


User currently offlineAstuteman From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 9838 posts, RR: 96
Reply 14, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 971 times:
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Quoting Baroque (Thread starter):
However, it is certainly possible to move towards a significant share of electricity generation coming from nuclear: after all, it took France less than 15 years to go from no nukes to 80% of its consumption coming from 58 nuclear plants - all using an identical US design provided by Westinghouse.

It will take more than 15 years for the Nuclear Renaissance to bite hard this time around, because the experience and industrial infrastructure will have to be regrown. There aren't many experienced nuclear plant builders around just now.. (  bigthumbsup  )

But it WILL come, and in my view, the latest generation nuclear plants will come to dominate world power generation in 25-30 years time... (Westighouse, GE and Areva upper range forecast are for up to 1 000 new Nucear Power plants worldwide in the next 30 years, of typically 1.2GW - 1.5GW each)
The US ordering wave is just beginning.

Quoting Beaucaire (Reply 9):
The German company RePower has started to install the first of 50 5Mwatt wind-generators (162 meters of rotor diameter !!) off-shore and will expand wind-parks throughout the North-sea,generating most likely something like 2 Gigawatts -which is not so bad for one project.

Apart from being the most apalling eyesores imaginable, and having a fearful impact on the local wildlife, the biggest issue I have with windfarms is that they are completely unreliable. Typical UK windfarms produce for at most 15% of the time.

In fact, in both the UK and the USA, legislation requires that every MW of wind generation installed be matched by an EXTRA MW of more reliable generating capability (e.g. fossil fuel or nuclear) to cover the times when the farms don't generate.

I suspect from your earlier posts that you will disagree with my next comment, but for me, windpower is NOT an answer - in fact I flat out don't like it. I think it's a big con. trick.
Just a personal view....  Wink

Rgds


User currently offlineMt99 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 6546 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 969 times:
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Quoting Beaucaire (Reply 7):
technology exists to produce at least 15% of all US electricity by means of Wind and hydro-sea power - we have not even scratched the surface in terms of possibilities..

You probably do not want more that 15%-20% actually - for operational reasons.

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 14):
Typical UK windfarms produce for at most 15% of the time.

In the US is the capacity factor is about 13%.

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 14):
In fact, in both the UK and the USA, legislation requires that every MW of wind generation installed be matched by an EXTRA MW of more reliable generating capability (e.g. fossil fuel or nuclear) to cover the times when the farms don't generate.

Not to mention the need to have actual rotating machines for transmission system stability!

In the US most states have a 20% goal of renewable energy.

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 14):

I suspect from your earlier posts that you will disagree with my next comment, but for me, windpower is NOT an answer - in fact I flat out don't like it. I think it's a big con. trick.
Just a personal view.... Wink

Ding Ding! Its not THE answer, but i do certainly believe its PART of the answer.

Also, if you like wind energy, you better like high voltage transmission lines. Wind is generally located far for population centers (loads) so new T lines are needed..



Step into my office, baby
User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 16, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 954 times:



Quoting Beaucaire (Reply 12):
Baroque- CBM is- honestly - a finite resource of producing energy,using energy to heat and extract gas,while bio-gas is renewable and basically auto-produced once the reactor is installed...

Indeed it is finite. The trouble I see is that it may be cheaper than biogas, so there will be pressure to use it first, rather than to conserve. Conservation of proved reserves is an aspect of conservation that is basically stuffed in either the too hard basket or the "are you totally stupid basket".

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 14):
There aren't many experienced nuclear plant builders around just now.. ( bigthumbsup )

Wonder how that occurred and who will fix it?  bigthumbsup  No problem in getting to Barrow in this weather provided you ARE in a submarine?

Quoting Mt99 (Reply 15):
Also, if you like wind energy, you better like high voltage transmission lines. Wind is generally located far for population centers (loads) so new T lines are needed..

Alas in Aus, the same applies to electricity from hot rocks. Some unkind genie put the really hot basin (S end of the Nappamerri Trough in the Cooper Basin) miles away from anywhere, except oddly enough, a natural gas processing plant. Curious coincidence, not really. The Moomba gas field was generated by the high temperatures down dip to the N in the N Trough. Expect it to happen in many other countries too, called Sod's Law.


User currently offlineArrow From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 2675 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 951 times:
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Quoting Baroque (Reply 11):
For example, some coal bed methane (CBM) and what is called "tight gas" is probably cheaper to produce in the US than many forms of biogas.

CBM has already grown dramatically in the last decade, with more growth to come. There are environmental challenges with the water produced (it's not terribly clean), but I think you'll see more and more of this stuff produced.

But tight gas, and the latest darling "shale gas," are going to change the fossil fuel dynamic considerably in North America. A couple of technological advancements of the past few decades -- horizontal drilling and better "fracing" techniques (those tight sandstones have a lot of porosity and almost no permeability so they have to be fractured to get the stuff to flow) have led to a major resurgence in what looked like a diminishing resource (just like oil.) US natural gas supply has actually increased in the last couple of years, after decades of decline.

Big one in the US is the Barnett shales in Texas, which now produces (I think) about 5 bcf/day -- from virtually nothing a few years ago. But EnCana thinks a couple of shale plays in B.C. (Horn River, Montney) have, combined, about 750 tcf in place. If they can produce even 10% of that, it's a very significant volume. The dynamic has changed to such an extent that the expected LNG rush into North America probably isn't going to happen -- there's an LNG facility in Texas (Houston?) that sits idle. They are even rethinking (once again) the need for that Alaskan natural gas pipeline -- there are significant shale deposits in other places in both Canada and the continental U.S.

But regardless of what looks like good news on the supply side (especially for home heating, electric power) -- there is still a HUGE need for conservation for all forms of energy on this continent. It staggers me that few politicians in either country talk about lowering speed limits. I think the only way to get anything moving on this is to eradicate that sense of entitlement we've had for decades on this continent -- that plentiful, cheap oil is a birthright.

And on that score -- I don't expect much from McCain despite his pronouncements. I know the Dems control Congress, but will he go so drastically against Republican dogma by signing off on anything that limits those free spirits from roaring down the highway in the SUVs?



Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
User currently offlineMt99 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 6546 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 949 times:
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Quoting Astuteman (Reply 14):
It will take more than 15 years for the Nuclear Renaissance to bite hard this time around, because the experience and industrial infrastructure will have to be regrown. There aren't many experienced nuclear plant builders around just now.

I actually worked for a company in the US that is very experienced in Nuclear power. They are very tough projects and VERY few companies can keep up with federal requirements. Construction from the ground up would indeed take, probably 10 years.

Here is my thought: It is obvious the Green Energy has additional costs. The problem is how do you pass these costs to the consumer? After all, when you plug in you TV you cant tell if you are getting green energy or not.

Considering that some people are willing to pay a premium for Earth Friendly activities, my suggestion is for Distribution Companies to ask costumers to pay .. i dunno 5% more that their current rate, and in exchange get different colored (green obviously) electricity bill. That way they would be reminded that they are contributing to the advancement of green energy. And of course, that 5% would be to offset costs used to buy Green Energy from Generators..



Step into my office, baby
User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 19, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks ago) and read 917 times:



Quoting Mt99 (Reply 18):
Considering that some people are willing to pay a premium for Earth Friendly activities, my suggestion is for Distribution Companies to ask costumers to pay .. i dunno 5% more that their current rate, and in exchange get different colored (green obviously) electricity bill. That way they would be reminded that they are contributing to the advancement of green energy. And of course, that 5% would be to offset costs used to buy Green Energy from Generators..

That is being done here, although IIRC the premium is a bit more. Stand by for the stink when some forensic accountant works out where the money really goes!!

I am all for green energy, but taking it on trust from a bunch of carpetbaggers is not the way to go. This sounds a bit racist, but between them and the phone companies, the electricity distributors must employ half the Indians in Australia. I realise they are all working on commission and I really feel a heel when I turn a deaf ear to their blandishments.  no   frown   expressionless  Fits in with most of our mushrooms being picked by students and other interesting statistics of this brave new world.


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29706 posts, RR: 59
Reply 20, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks ago) and read 911 times:



Quoting Baroque (Thread starter):
The USGS considers that resources on the N Slope might be (MIGHT BE) up to 5.9 billion barrels. If that was produced over 20 years - effectively a medium term asset at best - this would average about 800,000 barrels per day. US production is declining as shown in this graph.

You are about a 1/3rd of the actual believed reserves of 17.3 Billion Barrels. Right now there is only spare capacity for about 800K Barrels in TAPS.

But the sad part is that the reserve numbers are based on Seismic testing prior to 1978. If we would get in there with modern 3D technology we might actually get a better idea of the true numbers. You can't tell me that the computer technology to correct and analyze this studies hasn't improved considerably in the last 30 years.

But the granola cruching environmentalists won't even let us study the plain without getting their hemp panties in a munch.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineAstuteman From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 9838 posts, RR: 96
Reply 21, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 899 times:
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Quoting Mt99 (Reply 18):
I actually worked for a company in the US that is very experienced in Nuclear power. They are very tough projects and VERY few companies can keep up with federal requirements. Construction from the ground up would indeed take, probably 10 years.

I was really talking about getting to the point at which the industry and its supply chain get mature enough to support serial construction in different countries aroundthe world. That's 15 - 20 years away IMO.
FWIW Westinghouse are targetting a 5 year construction cycle for the AP1000, 18 months of which is pre- "concrete-pour".
The first few will take a little bit longer IMO

For general information, this might be worth a read..

http://www.ap1000.westinghousenuclear.com/

Rgds


User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 22, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 888 times:



Quoting L-188 (Reply 20):

You are about a 1/3rd of the actual believed reserves of 17.3 Billion Barrels. Right now there is only spare capacity for about 800K Barrels in TAPS.

I gave a reference for my figure, where does yours come from?

In more detail:
http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2005/3043/
Summary
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently completed a new assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the central part of the Alaska North Slope and the adjacent offshore area. Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the USGS estimates that there are undiscovered, technically recoverable mean resources of 4.0 billion barrels of oil, 37.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 478 million barrels of natural gas liquids.

And in the text:

The USGS estimated technically recoverable, undiscovered resources of oil, natural gas (nonassociated and associated), and natural-gas liquids (from nonassociated and associated gas) in the central North Slope assessment area. Oil resources range between 2.6 and 5.9 billion barrels of oil (BBO) (95% and 5% probabilities), with a mean of 4.0 BBO. Nonassociated gas resources range between 23.9 and 44.9 trillion cubic feet (TCF) (95% and 5% probabilities), with a mean of 33.3 TCF. In addition, means of 4.2 TCF of associated gas, 387 million barrels of natural-gas liquids (MMBNGL) from nonassociated gas, and 91 MMBNGL from associated gas are estimated to occur (see table for estimates over a range of probability). Nearly two-thirds of the mean undiscovered oil is estimated to occur in three plays in the northern part of the area---Brookian Clinoform, Brookian Topset, and Triassic Barrow Arch. About half of the mean undiscovered nonassociated natural gas is estimated to occur in four plays in the southern part of the area---Brookian Clinoform, Thrust Belt Triangle Zone, Thrust Belt Lisburne, and Basement Involved Structural.

So using 4 billion would be more justified. Where does 17 come from?

I would think pretty much all the 1978 and previous data have now been both digitized and reprocessed. 3D would be better, but it is unlikey that anything major is being missed.

Note that most of the fields are expected to be under 250 MMBO. If you want to go to 17 billion it would mean that some 2+ billion fields would have to be there. Even on old seismic, these are usually pretty obvious. I might take on the USGS over some issues, but definitely not this one. Just to emphasise, they also say it:

The occurrence of larger oil and gas accumulations is unlikely.

"They" being: Kenneth J. Bird, David W. Houseknecht, Emil D. Attanasi, Thomas E. Moore, Phillip H. Nelson, Christopher J. Potter, Christopher J. Schenk, John H. Schuenemeyer, Mahendra K. Verma, Richard W. Saltus, Jeffery D. Phillips, Ronald R. Charpentier, Troy A. Cook, Timothy R. Klett, and Richard M. Pollastro

17 would make a difference, but as best "we" can tell, 17 is just not there.

The PDF is there for the reading.

I can check on the Authors if you like and see if any of them crunch granola. I do know they crunch old seismic with new computers. That works quite well.


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29706 posts, RR: 59
Reply 23, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 865 times:



Quoting Baroque (Reply 22):
I would think pretty much all the 1978 and previous data have now been both digitized and reprocessed. 3D would be better, but it is unlikey that anything major is being missed.

They said the same thing about that face on Mars too.

But the fact remains that new data is almost always better. It is more current and the collection of it is more refined.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineWunalaYann From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 2839 posts, RR: 26
Reply 24, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 861 times:



Quoting L-188 (Reply 23):
But the fact remains that new data is almost always better.

Indeed.

But the fact remains that unless the laws of physics and chemicals change dramatically in the next, say, 20 years, there will still be less oil on the planet than there is now.

What I am trying to say is that we are only buying ourselves a bit more time before the inevitable occurs - lesser and lesser oil until we exhaust it all.

Of course, I believe we should do our best to avoid massive systemic shocks, and ensuring enough oil supplies until we figure out viable ways to do without it altogether goes a long way towards achieving that.

That is why I think the right hand should work with the left - conservation and exploration should be given equal priority.

 Smile


25 Baroque : Not sure where Mars comes in and yes, newer data is usually better. Could find exceptions but the general point is valid. HOWEVER, if you are thinkin
26 WunalaYann : Of course. Shoot me, for I am a pessimist. It is widely known around here...
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